The Purple Guide to Thanksgiving Football

Nov 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; A Thanksgiving Day sign before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I’m Canadian, so my thanksgiving is long gone. Be that as it may, I always look forward to American Thanksgiving (I suspect Americans don’t feel compelled to add that “American” modifier) because it a means a random day that is full of football. Unfortunately, the Vikings won’t be participating in the Thanksgiving football fun. Even still, there’s plenty of reason to tune in.

First, though, a brief fact. In my online travels for this piece, I learned an interesting fact about the NFL’s Thanksgiving tradition. Here is how it all began:

The Lions were the team that began the Thanksgiving Day tradition. Owner George A. Richards designed the game in 1934 to boost attendance, and it worked. The Cowboys began playing on the holiday in 1966. Save for one brief stoppage imposed by the NFL, they have continued to do so.

Turns out the Lions are good for something after all. Who knew? Not me.

The opening game takes place at 12:30 ET, featuring the Bears and Lions. In my humble opinion, Vikings fans ought to be cheering for the Lions on Thanksgiving. At 3-7, the Bears are a long shot for the playoffs, but they’re still closer than the Lions. Climbing to 4-7 would mean they’ve at least got a shot, especially if they continue to play the Vikings tough (there are still two games against the Bears on the schedule). Plus, I don’t want to see the Lions go winless. That makes for a long season. I’m therefore cheering for Jared Goff to throw all over the once-proud Bears team.

Next up is the Raiders at Cowboys. As I previously explained, I’m dreaming of a first-round match up with Dallas. CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are a nightmare match up with for the Vikings. But, they have Mike McCarthy as their HC. I’ll gladly avoid Kyler, Rodgers, and Brady in the opening round to instead take on the overrated Cowboys. In all likelihood, the Vikings won’t climb into the #5 seed. That would involve overcoming a team like the Rams (small chance). This Vikings fan can therefore look for Dallas to be triumphant on Sunday since the #3 seed takes on the #6 seed. Go Dallas!

Finally, the night game is between the Bills and Saints. I shouldn’t even have to explain what Vikings fans ought to do on Thanksgiving night. Eat your turkey, get comfortable on the couch, and put all your positive fan energy into the NO’s downfall. Go Bills, especially since the Saints are in contention for a Wild Card spot.

If cheering for former players is your thing, I’ve got you covered. Don’t think of this list as being exhaustive. Rather, think of it as a humble effort from yours truly to keep a few players in mind as you enjoy plenty of delicious food.

The Cowboys have OL Aviante Collins as a depth player. Trevon Diggs, Stefon’s brother, is snagging INTs in Dallas’ defensive backfield. Jayron Kearse is actually playing really well for them. Yannick Ngakoue (who was somehow Minnesota’s sack leader in 2020) is an edge rusher for the Raiders. The Bills, of course, have Stefon Diggs out wide. Moreover, they have Leslie Frazier calling the shots on defense. Jalyn Holmes (who I always liked) ended up in New Orleans. It’s not a good enough reason to cheer for those guys, but I do hope Holmes gets more opportunity.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, valued Vikings fan. May it be filled with wonderful food, family, and football.